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N Z Med J. 2008 Jul 25;121(1278):15-20.

Use of inappropriate titles by New Zealand practitioners of acupuncture, chiropractic, and osteopathy.

Author information

  • College of Business, Massey University, Private Bag 11 222, Palmerston North, New Zealand. a.p.gilbey@massey.ac.nz

Abstract

AIM:

This study aimed to explore whether practitioners of acupuncture, chiropractic, and osteopathy use the title 'Doctor' in a way which could imply that they are registered medical practitioners, when there is no evidence that they are, and if so, whether rates differ between practice types.

METHOD:

Secondary data, the New Zealand Yellow pages telephone directory, were analysed for potentially misleading use of the title 'Doctor'.

RESULTS:

Some practitioners of acupuncture, chiropractic, and osteopathy appeared to use the title 'Doctor' in a way that could imply that they are registered medical practitioners, when there was no evidence this was in fact true. This occurred significantly more often among chiropractics than acupuncturists or osteopaths.

CONCLUSION:

Practitioners should be aware that if they are not registered medical practitioners, then using the title 'Doctor' whilst working in healthcare is unlikely to comply with the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003. Misleading use of the title 'Doctor' should therefore be discontinued at the first available opportunity.

Comment in

PMID:
18670471
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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